Monday, April 30, 2012

A Brief Documentary

My good friend, Alexis, who plays Jessica in "The Merchant Of Venice" shot and produced a brief mini-documentary on the play. There are some really good moments here. Have a look.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Euthanize Me

After doing a glibbed read-through of Merchant of Venice with my fellow cast members the other night, I expressed to my daughter that, after the previous weekend of doing four shows and grading papers and writing final exams, I was looking and feeling my age.

"You should euthanize yourself", my daughter said.

"What? You want to put me down like a dog?", I exclaimed, somewhat shocked.

"No! I mean that you should do something to make yourself look younger."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


My daughter recently brought home a magazine fundraising packet from Great American Opportunities. In order to motivate the kids to get the word out, each subscription would net them a little collectible frog key chain. There are apparently 40 different frogs ranging from princesses to baseball players. Some super heroes are also included, and, knowing how much I like Spider-Man, my daughter decided to trade one of her pink girly frogs for a Spider-Man frog. I was really touched by the gesture. This is a huge deal because the frogs are all the rave at the school at the moment.

Sometimes....just sometimes....I'm convinced that I'm doing this parenting thing right. 

Spider-Frog, Spider-Frog, does whatever a Spider-Frog does. Can he swing from a thread? No, he can't: He's a Frog!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Carsafe Calls Me

I recently got one of those "This is your final notice" letters from Carsafe, one of those extended auto warranty scams. I called the number on the invoice and told them that I no longer owned the Ford Taurus (which actually was my ex-wife's car which she totaled late last year) but that I had sold it to Otto Von Hurensohn and graciously agreed to share his number with the Carsafe rep. Otto was a bit confused when Carsafe called him. He first thought that they wanted to buy his Beanie Baby collection. Then, when the Carsafe rep said he could save on repair bills up to $1,800, Otto misunderstood and thought someone had damaged his car.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Raise The Curtain

In just a few hours, the curtain goes up on yet another show and I'll be taking to the stage. I didn't think I would have time to do another show until Fall, but joining the cast of The Merchant of Venice has turned out to be a great decision and I'm so glad I've found the time to be a part of it all. Before the curtain goes up, I've got a few things running through my mind that are making me smile.

  • Working with my old friend Nicole reminds me of us goofing off in college. It has been a tremendous amount of fun.
  • Nicole's understudy is her daughter and, when the teen expressed anxiety about remembering her lines in front of an audience, one of the theater's board members remarked "Don't worry, Thomas is out there with you. He'll cover you". I beamed with pride.
  • Working with my friend Jeffery has made for a number of hilarious scenes. Our work on Act 3 Scene 5, is, for my money, one of the best scenes in the show. But, I'm biased. 
  • Being a supporting character, I have a lot of down time and I find myself wondering what to do with myself. I did pick up an opportunity to run the sound board for one of the scenes.
  • I have a lot of running around to do as I am in nearly every scene in Act 2. This involves me going off stage, running around the theater to get back stage and then preparing to go on stage just before my cue. It's especially difficult  between scene 4 and scene 5 because I have to haul ass to make it around in time for Shylock to start yelling at me. 
  • I have been concentrating so much on perfecting Launcelot that I have neglected my role as the Duke of Venice. I am still struggling to get his monologue note-perfect. Also, that role necessitates a quick change as I have to change from Launcelot in Act 3 Scene 5 and the Duke in Act 4 Scene 1. Thankfully, my fellow supporting player, Chris, is on hand to help me with the change, otherwise, there would be no way I could get dressed in time. 
  • Word is, we're playing to a packed house tonight, which is surprising because another community theater in the area is doing a short run of Godspell this weekend. 
It looks like it's about time for me to take my place for the start of the show, so I will leave you all with what I have written above. I'll be sure to break at least one leg out there. 

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    A Promo For The Merchant of Venice

    Our local community theater production of The Merchant of Venice opens this Friday night and, in an effort to motivate the community to come out and pack the house every night, we quickly put together a little promotional video. Somewhere, I suspect that William Shakespeare might be spinning around in his grave.

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    I Want A Sandwich Named After Myself

    One of the restaurants just outside of town had closed. I wasn't a huge fan of the place, but the fact that it served a burger topped with pulled pork, bacon and two cheeses all on a kaiser roll always made me forget about the weird ambiance that the place exuded. And it was worth going a little bit out of town in order to pick up one of those specimens of deliciousness. But, alas, serving a stellar burger isn't enough to keep a place open. There are sticky issues like state regulations and health codes and the like.

    I was lamenting the loss of the burger to a friend of mine this weekend, and, in an attempt to console me, she mentioned that a place in town served a similar burger. "It's not the same!", I said. "The bun is all wrong and they don't put bacon or cheese on it! It's an abomination!". She then mentioned that the local pub would probably be willing to put one together for me, perhaps on chibatta bread.  This intrigued me. A designer sandwich. I exclaimed that, if this sandwich were successful, they could put it on the menu and call it "The TommyMac!".

    In total deadpan mode, she replied "They already have a sandwich named after you. It's a slab of ham smothered in five different kinds of cheese".

    I pondered this for a moment and asked if it they served it with chips or fries.

    Friday, April 13, 2012

    Dragon Attack At The Stables Is A Tale of WOAH!

    I started a new run on Skyrim recently and, after having just purchased a horse at a stable, I was ready to ride off to continue my adventure. The moment I got in the saddle, however, I heard the familiar sound of a dragon approaching. I knew I was doomed, but dismounted my horse anyway so that I could shoot some arrows at the beast in a feeble attempt to bring him down. Once he landed, even though I was woefully unprepared, I charged in and began to fight. This dragon was no pushover and soon had me on the ropes.

    Just when I thought all was lost, my horse charged in and started kicking the dragon. Not only that, but two more horses and a stable master joined in on the beat-down. We five rag-tag warriors proceeded to take that dragon apart in no time. Alas, though, my poor horse that I had just purchased was torn apart by the dragon. I didn't even get a chance to name her. As I knelt over her lifeless body, I decided to name her "Mieux" because she was much better than the horse I owned in my previous game. That one ran itself off of a cliff and died while I fought a bear.

    Trying To Kill My Master? NEIGH, I say! NEIGH!

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012


    Thanks To My Old Pal, Leigh For Noticing This
    Shopping around at a home brewery supply store can turn up many interesting items. Certainly, offering Large Bungs and Large Drilled Bungs is going to cause some double takes. I mean, if there are bungs, then where are the bung holes?

    Of course, after seeing this display, I had to look up the meaning and origin of the word "bung". The only time I have ever heard it outside of a poop joke was in the song "Civilization" by Danny Kaye and the Andrews Sisters. In that song, Danny sings of how "people who are civilized bung you with automobiles". At the time, I took the word "bung" to mean "bribe" or "shut you up". In actuality, a bung is a cylindrical or conical closure device used to seal a bottle, tube or barrel. It's different from a lid in that a bung is partially inserted inside the container to act as a seal while a lid encloses a container from the outside without displacing the inner volume. So, basically, a bung is a cork that isn't made out of cork. And a bunghole is anything that a bung is used to stop up.

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    A Call From MyCollegeSource

    I got a call from which is some for-profit college pimping service. The rep was obviously a foreigner doing an approximation of a John Wayne type American accent. At first, I insisted that the rep refer to me as "General". Then, when hearing he was recording the call for quality purposes, I pretended to freak out. Finally, I said I wanted to learn to be a vocalist and belted out a few verses of "John The Revelator" as my audition. I got a few uncomfortable chuckles out of the rep before he finally hung up about 5 minutes in.

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Some Gen Con Swag

    Who'd have thought that filling out those little information slips at the Gen Con booths would actually pay off?

    The folks at Mayfair Games (makers of The Settlers of Catan) recently notified me that they had drawn my info in a prize draw and were sending some swag my way. They sent along a Gen Con branded winter cap and a Catan bumper sticker. The winter cap is sort of an odd choice to put a Gen Con brand on as Gen Con is a Summer event. Still, it's kind of funny because of the way Jason and Gene an I have been sporting Amish caps in Winter and this may be a new spin on our trend.

    At the very least, it's nice to see a company spreading the swag and it's enough to get me excited about the big plans me and the gang have in store for Gen Con 2012.

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Miracle On 34th Street: Postman Scene

    I was recently able to get a recording of one of the performances we did of Miracle on 34th Street. In this brief snippit, I provide the voice of the postman and my friend Kent plays Louie, the second postman. He and I worked on the voices together and I think it sounds really good.